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The Wrap: 16 April

Serious games

A doctoral candidate in the US has found a way to separate the serious gamers from the casual with a controller that measures just how excited players really are. McCall has fitted an XBox 360 controller with a 3D-printed module containing sensors that measure heart rate, blood flow, breathing rate and how deeply the user is breathing, along with an accelerometer to measure how much the controller is shaken around. He’s then added software to get an overall measure mental of engagement in the game, a racing simulator. 

With a wave of the hand

We’ve all been to concerts where the DJ is stuck behind their desk or a keyboard, controlling a bunch of knobs and switches. The UK-founded Mi Mu glove, currently fundraising on Kickstarter wants to change all that by letting musicians control the sounds they produce by using gestures the glove can control.

The gloves work by capturing hand movements and interacting with software that maps these and turns them into messages to be routed to third party music software. British singer/songwriter Imogen Heap is the creator of the venture and backers get a download of her first ‘glove song’ Me the Machine.

Having a Convie

It takes a brave startup to rival Twitter, but that’s what Convies is doing in the US. Much like Twitter’s short video service Vine, Convies lets you share clips of up to six seconds. The difference with Convies is it’s more a chat app for native video sharing, rather than just straight out video sharing. Another differentiator is the abilty to privately send video to a pre-selected group and play a series of videos as a single stream.

Ink in 3D

3D printers do all sorts of things these days, but would you trust them to give you tattoo? If so, the option is at least technically possible, so start thinking about it. Students at a Paris design school hacked a 3D printer to trace a design onto skin, with a pen replacing the machine’s extruder. The built on the pen test by experimenting with a real tattoo machine on artificial skin, then on the limbs of volunteers. Better still, if you want to create your own machine and maybe set up a profitable venture, there’s an online instruction sheet.

3D PRINTER X TATTOO MACHINE / EP 02 from appropriate audiences on Vimeo.

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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